Human Epidermal Melanocytes-light (HEM-l)

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Cryopreserved, 0.5 million cells/vial


Product Description

Melanocytes are melanin-producing neural crest-derived cells located in the bottom layer (the stratum basale) of the skin's epidermis, the middle layer of the eye (the uvea), the inner ear, vaginal epithelium, meninges, bones, and heart [1] . Melanocytes, which are derived from the neural crest, are unique in that they produce eu-/pheo-melanin pigments in unique membrane-bound organelles termed melanosomes, which can be divided into four stages depending on their degree of maturation [2]. Dysregulation of melanocyte migration, proliferation, or survival during embryonic development thus causes congenital disorders in those tissues as seen in Tietz syndrome, Waardenburg syndrome, and piebaldism [3]. In the bottom layer of skin epidermis, melanocytes synthesize and transfer dark-colored melanin to surrounding keratinocytes to give skin pigmentation. Melanin also blocks UV-B light to protect the hypodermis from solar exposure-induced photodamage. Progress in culture techniques, along with an improved understanding of melanocyte biology, has led to a successful culture system to model melanomas, inner ear homeostasis, vitiligo, and mitochondrial dysfunction in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy [4].

iXCells Biotechnologies provides high quality Human Epidermal Melanocytes-light (HEM-l), which are isolated from neonatal human skin and cryopreserved at P1, with >0.5 million cells in each vial. HEM-l express fibronectin and NGF-receptor (p75). They are negative for HIV-1, HBV, HCV, mycoplasma, bacteria, yeast, and fungi and can further expand no more than 3 passages in Melanocyte Growth Medium (Cat# MD-0049) under the condition suggested by iXCells Biotechnologies. Prolonged culture process may decrease the purity.

Human Epidermal Melanocytes light

Figure 1. Human Epidermal Melanocytes-light (HEM-l). (A) Phase contrast image of HEM-I. (B) Immunofluorescence staining with antibodies against S100-beta.


Product Details


  Neonatal human skin

  Package Size

  0.5 million cells/vial  

  Passage Number





  Liquid nitrogen

  Growth Properties



  Melanocyte Growth Medium (Cat# MD-0049)



[1] McGrath JA, Eady RAJ, Pope FM. (2004). "Anatomy and Organization of Human Skin". In Burns T, Breathnach S, Cox N, Griffiths C. Rook's Textbook of Dermatology (7th ed.). Blackwell Publishing. p. 4190.

[2] Yuji Yamaguchi and Vincent J. Hearing (2014) “Melanocytes and Their Diseases”. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2014 May; 4(5): a017046

[3] Juying Li, Jun S. Song, Robert J. A. Bell, Thanh-Nga T. Tran, Rizwan Haq, Huifei Liu, Kevin T. Love, Robert Langer, Daniel G. Anderson, Lionel Larue, and David E. Fisher (2012) “ YY1 Regulates Melanocyte Development and Function by Cooperating with MITF” PLoS Genet. 8(5): e1002688

[4] M Y Hsu, M Herlyn. (1996) “Cultivation of normal human epidermal melanocytes” Methods Mol Med. 2:9-20.


Download Datasheet

[1]. Eisinger, M. and Marko, O. (1982) Selective proliferation of normal human melanocytes in vitro in the presence of phorbol ester and cholera toxin. Proc. Natl. Acad. USA 79:2018-2022. 

[2]. Tang, A., Eller, M. S., Hara, M., Yaar, M., Hirohashi, S. and Gilchrest, B. A. (1994) E-cadherin is the major mediator of human melanocyte adhesion to keratinocytes in vitro. J. Cell Sci. 107:983-992. 

[3]. Shioda, T., Fenner, M. H. and Isselbacher, K. J. (1996) msg1, a novel melanocyte-specific gene, encodes a nuclear protein and is associated with pigmentation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93:12298-12303.

Cell System Dermal Cell System
Cell Type Melanocytes
Species Human (Normal)